Saturday, December 20, 2014

Celebrating Christmas In The Ideal Small Town - Part 1

I was already in the village of Canton and admiring its small town charm when I decided to take a driving tour of the Christmas decorations there. Canton is perhaps the nicest, cleanest, most liveable small town I've ever seen, a wonderful place to live with several large universities. Most of the homes were, by my standards, decidedly upscale and I concluded that the wages (largely government and university employers) were higher than the surrounding area and the property prices were comparatively low. Like I said, a nice place to live:

I began driving up and down residential streets, looking for Christmas decorations to photograph:

To my surprise, there were few decorations, perhaps only one out of every thirty homes - and most of those were dignified, simple and understated:

The homes were lovely and the decorations, not the gaudy type I was used to, were lovely as well:

The day was foggy and the fog was freezing to many surfaces. It was sometimes difficult to get usable photos, but I managed:

An Adirondack moose with red bow:

A walkway lined with red and green lights:

A sled, a red door, a wreath and a snowman:

Red Christmas bows and a small Santa:

I was impressed by how well kept all the homes were. If there are any slums in Canton, I didn't find them:

I stopped and parked when I came to the footbridge crossing the Grasse River. It leads to the State University campus on the other side, though I didn't walk it this time:

This florist shop in a house in a residential neighborhood was doing a booming business, perhaps drawn in by the Santa who stood at the curb and waved at everyone passing by. He was on the porch when I got there, but you can still see him. There were more places to see on this driving tour, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Historic Silas Wright House At Christmastime

I paid another visit to the Silas Wright House in Canton to see the Christmas decorations. Silas Wright, you may recall from previous posts (Part 1, Part 2), was a U.S. Senator and New York Governor in the 1800s. He declined the Democratic nomination for U.S. Vice President in 1844:

I entered the kitchen first and saw what was to become a decorating theme of evergreen boughs and apples:

Even the kitchen's china cabinet was ornamented with apples:

I walked from the kitchen to the dining room, where the table had been covered with a white tablecloth and a centerpiece of evergreens:

The Wrights' Empire style sideboard was decorated with red candles in brass candlesticks, with more evergreen boughs and apples. The lacquered trays, I soon learned, were also part of the recurring theme:

The mantle atop the dining room's fireplace and dutch oven were decorated for Christmas, with the usual painting removed to make room for the lacquered trays:

The study held a large basket of evergreens, with red and white flowers:

The decorations on the mantle above the other fireplace continued the theme:

The rear parlor had an old fashioned Christmas tree with ornaments such as might have been used in the 1800s:

The red and pink roses on the piano in the rear parlor were not Christmas decorations, but they sure seemed appropriate:

I passed by the old fashioned Christmas tree again as I made my way back out:

I'm not sure what kind of decorations I expected to find, but was surprised by them when I arrived. They were more simple and understated than what we are used to today, yet altogether appropriate for the era and sufficiently tasteful for the dignified and wealthy Wright family:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Franklin County Route 5 In December-Part 2

I was taking a driving tour of Franklin County Route 5 (see Part 1, yesterday) and enjoying the variety of farms along the way. This was an Amish farm, and the black shirts were flapping on the clothesline:

A red barn, set high up on a hill:

An old stone farm house:

An old barn is deteriorating condition:

And a new horse barn in perfect condition:

A small red barn, out behind a yellow farm house:

And a front view of that same house, revealing its original structure and its large, country porch:

An old home, partially shuttered, up on a hill:

And a self sufficient looking farm, set far off the road:

As I arrived in the village of Moira, its rural roots were still easy to see:

And Moira had a large brick church:

I noticed that Moira has a town museum. It's closed for the winter now, but I hope to tour it next summer: